A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Dear Sue: I am a talented, committed sales professional. Earlier
in my career I bounced around a bit, but then found some stability with
two large companies. I worked at one company for two years and the other
for almost five years. I am now working with a third company and may be
headed out the door in the next few months.
I am concerned about making another change because this would be my
fourth change in two years. Most of the changes have been due to the havoc
that has occurred in technology, but I still feel it does not reflect
positively on me. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Ė Bill
Sue Says: I can understand your concern, and realize the thought
of making another change and looking for another job again is probably
daunting. However, you donít need to worry too much; as youíve stated,
most of the changes have had nothing to do with you or your performance Ė
but rather a result of changes that have been out of your control.
As you begin to talk with potential employers, focus less on the number
of companies you have worked for and more on what you have accomplished
and what you bring to an organization. Use your sales skills to sell
yourself as someone who has experienced a lot of change and is used to
adapting to and overcoming obstacles. Your range of experience may be an
asset; assume it is and use it to your advantage. Good luck.
Dear Sue: I work for a small company and am fortunate to work
with a lovely group of people. I am friendly with most everyone. When I
take my lunch break I prefer to use the time to run errands and get out of
my work environment, especially when it is nice out. For some reason, this
bothers my colleagues. They all gather in the lunchroom to eat together
and visit. I feel I spend enough time with these people and to be honest,
the smell of all the food people bring and eat makes me lose my appetite.
Every day my colleagues seem so disappointed when they see me leave and
plead with me to sit down and eat. I am given the third degree about where
I am going and what I will eat, etc. I always feel bad, but really donít
want to stay. Is it wrong for me to leave? It is becoming uncomfortable
for me and I donít know what to say or do. Ė Running on my lunch break
Sue Says: You are under no obligation to stay and eat with your
colleagues. Consider yourself fortunate that you are so well liked and
cared about, but donít worry about hurting anyoneís feelings. These people
choose to stay inside for lunch and you prefer to use your time
differently. You can thank them for their concern, but firmly let them
know that you prefer to get things done and get outside when you can. No
apologies or details about where you go and what you eat are necessary.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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